Back to Banding: Irvine and Dreghorn can’t wait to move into its new rehearsal facility just as soon as it is safe to do so

Saturday 26 June 2021

Playing in the grounds of Dreghorn Parish Church following a Girl Guides meeting, members of Irvine and Dreghorn Brass were overjoyed at being able to get back to live music making after a hiatus of 16 months.

From the youngest to the oldest, feedback after the rehearsal with MD Lewis Bettles was extremely positive. Spirits were lifted and the players thoroughly enjoyed face-to-face – rather than virtual – catch-ups.

“It certainly encouraged those who hadn’t dusted the cobwebs off their instruments to do so and get practising again,” remarked band secretary Carrie Boax. “One of our youngest players commented that it was really good to be playing again with other people and that there’s nothing better than live music.”

Having remained virtual throughout the pandemic, members of the youth band – whose MD is John Boax – are now taking their summer break and Carrie is hopeful that face-to-face lessons and ensemble playing will be able to return in the new school term. 

“We are mindful that there is still a lot of apprehension around coming together with other people from other households – never mind playing instruments again – and it’s important to ensure every single person in the band feels included and respected,” she said.

“During the pandemic the band committee has taken the opportunity to meet more frequently virtually, stressing the need to make decisions as a team and keep connected.

“The whole IDB organisation is extremely fortunate to have a fantastic new facility to return to – acquired through the Community Asset Transfer scheme in December 2020 – and we really can’t wait until it is safe to get back to banding indoors with exciting plans and projects to help us grow and develop music making for all in the local area.”

If you would like to share your experience of playing again in our Back to Banding series, please send a photo and a short write-up telling us about where you have chosen to play and how your members feel about being back together to


Got a story?

Email Nigel Martin: